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Getting perspective on post-performance CDs

There's no shortage of immediate, post-concert CD producing services for today's industry. But what kind of impact has been made by the emergence of additional post-performance activities, or do bands stand to make more cash flogging t-shirts?

Your favourite band has just played their last encore, and no matter how much you scream and shout, they just aren’t coming back onstage. So, happy, exhausted and a little hoarse –­ perhaps a little deaf too – you gather your bag and coat, and head for the merchandising stand by the exit. That was such a brilliant night, wasn’t it?, says your friend. It was, you agree. If only we could live through it all again…

And of course, increasingly after gigs, you can do exactly that. More and more, the concert-going public has been given the option of the ‘post-show CD’. A mere few minutes after that joyous last performance, piles of packaged, labelled, professional-looking CDs magically appear on a merch table.. of that very gig! Amazing! Relive the night in your own living room, for just a tenner!
A whole industry has grown up around services that turn up on the night, take a feed to a remote truck, mix the show, duplicate the finished master to banks and banks of CD burners, then frantically ferry the packaged discs into the venue for the punters to buy before they head home. Abbey Road’s Live Here Now, Battersea based Concert Live, and Belgium’s Live is Life are just three of the ventures all specialising in this kind of super-quick turnaround production.
 Searching for ‘live production gig services’ or similar uncovers many more. And not just in the UK: in Belgium, for instance, Live if Life mobile has been recording and selling gig CDs since 2006 and can now duplicate at least 1,000 discs in 30 minutes.

Paul Watson’s report continues in the digital edition of PSNLive 2013.